Juvenile and Children's Law Section

This section provides a forum for lawyers who deal with juvenile and children’s law. It produces CLE courses related to this practice area, distributes a newsletter to section members, and works toward improving juvenile justice and children’s law.

The Odeneal Firm
PO Box 392
Lawrenceburg, TN 38464
Immediate Past Chair
Disability Rights Tennessee
2 International Plaza, Suite 825
Nashville, TN 37217

Memphis Law Clinic Serving Local Youth

Students at the University of Memphis School of Law are making an impact on local youth through the newly formed Children’s Defense Clinic, the Memphis Daily News reports. The clinic allows students to represent youth facing criminal charges in delinquency proceedings. This semester, six students have represented 22 young clients, with four cases resulting in dismissal of all charges and three resulting in one of multiple charges being dropped. Lisa Geis, visiting assistant professor of law and clinic director, says the clinic is the result of a partnership between the county and the Public Defender’s Office formed after the Department of Justice’s 2009 investigation into the county juvenile system. It also is training a new set of juvenile defense attorneys who will be ready to take on cases of their own after graduation.

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A Step Ahead Foundation Honors Late Volunteer

Attorneys and community leaders gathered yesterday at the Nashville home of Colleen Conway Welch to celebrate A Step Ahead of Middle Tennessee, an affiliate of the original A Step Ahead Foundation in Memphis. Program founder Claudia Haltom, an attorney and former juvenile magistrate in Memphis, launched A Step Ahead in 2011. There are now four affiliates in other Tennessee cities. The event also honored the late Mary Ruth Shell, one of the founding board members of the foundation and an active pro bono volunteer with the Nashville Conflict Resolution Center and on behalf of children in the juvenile court system. The Administrative Office of the Courts reported the news.

From left: Nashville attorneys Brenda Dowdle, Anne Russell, Claudia Haltom, Deborah Taylor Tate, Jackie Dixon and Mary Walker

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